Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Five Catholics?

With Samuel Alito’s nomination to serve as the fifth Catholic on the Supreme Court, I thought it worthwhile to catch up with what the Catholic law professors over at Mirror of Justice were saying. Here’s one post, with links to this one (on the changing face of conservatism) and this one (a joke).

In general, it’s noteworthy that the evangelical George W. Bush is nominating a second Catholic after a failed attempt to nominate an evangelical (Michael McConnell, by the way, is an evangelical). At MOJ, Thomas Berg offers one explanation--that the conservative Catholic talent pool is deeper than that of conservative evangelicals, since the former have been attending elite institutions for at least a decade longer. That’s plausible, but I wonder if there’s another explanation as well--that the Catholic tradition is much more conducive to the development of legal doctrine. The good news for evangelicals in these matters is that the common causes in the culture wars are bringing together folks from all sides of the traditional Protestant-Catholic split, and providing for interesting cross-fertilization, as is evident here and here.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I would add the Catholic tradition also has a rich intellectual history which I do not think one can attribute to Evangelicals. Coupled with a good-natured cynicism with which I’ve noticed many Catholics view their faith, this adds to the depth of their "talent pool." (By the way, if I’ve missed any intellectual giants of the Evangelical persuasion, someone please correct me).

I haven’t met or heard of many if any Catholics whom I would call truly cynical about their "faith" qua faith. Some may be a bit jaundiced or amusedly world-weary about certain aspects of their church or church life as human/historical institutions with their share of foibles, but that’s something different from cyncism about the faith itself.

Thank you for articulating what I could not, cynicism was the wrong word. It appears you understood what I was trying to say (which was in no way to disparage the Catholic Church).

Better Catholic that some crazy born-again.

Now "Born Just Once’ I must say that I do not appreciate your remark. Did you know that the current President of the United States is a "born-again’?? I have known many, many very smart and wonderful folks who are born again Christians. I also have a lot of good friends who are Catholic. They al believe in the one, true God, so whats the problem?

But there are some things I do’nt like about Alito. Two things from a recent newspaper article:

"For example, Alito joined the Army reserves while he was a college student because his draft lottery number made it likely he would be taken for the Vietnam War, his college roommates said.

Also, 30 years before the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex, Alito declared on behalf of his group of fellow Princeton University students that "no private sexual act between consenting adults should be forbidden."

I am no fan of draft-dodgers like Clinton and I do not want gay people marching through town asking for approval for there perversions thank you very much!

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